Saturday, June 6, 2009

Star Trek--"I, Mudd"

We were certainly all clamoring for the return of Harry Mudd after the truly awful first season offering ‘Mudd’s Women,” right? I cannot say that I was, but his second turn at con artist villainy is much better than his first. “I, Mudd’ is not a great episode by any stretch, but its humorous antics generally put it in fans’ ten lists regardless. I am not certain I would go that far.

The Enterprise is hijacked by Mr. Norman, an android posing as a newly assigned crewman. How did he get passed security checks? He takes the ship to a planet run by 200,000 androids. Like the Cylons, there are numerous copies of a handful of models. They have claimed Mudd as their master and wait on him hand and foot. They forcibly bring down the entire crew to serve themas well.

The androids have reached the same conclusion a nuber of the nigh omnipotent aliens the crew has encountered have: humanity is too barbaric to allowed to roam the galaxy freely. They plan to keep all mankind prisoner by taking full, pampered care of them. There is no word on why they are keeping Spock prisoner or what they plan to do with the even more savage Klingons, for instance.

The crew decides the best way to foil their plan is to act as illogically as possible in order to overload Mr. Norman, who Spock figures out is the central mind of the operation. Zaniness ensues with strange dances, skit performance, and finally, Kirk is up to his old tricks and talks a computer to death. It is the liar liar paradox that finally does the trick. Mudd tells mr. Norman he is a liar. Kirk responds that everything Mudd says is a lie. Mr. Norman cannot handle it and overloads. The androids go back to their original task of making the planet habitable. Mudd is paroled there permanently with 500 copies of his nagging wife.

There was certainly nothing new here. Not to mention there were plotholes big enough to drive a truck through. But the character of Mudd was much more enjoyable this time and even though Kirk used his extraordinary ability to talk a computer to death yet again, a unique path was used to get him to that pint rather than the usual phasor blast to expose the operation. It is not an impressive episode, but it is watchable.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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